A decision by DBS Bank to wind down a joint venture with Gulf investors is more than a setback for Singapore's biggest lender - it's a sign that tougher times lie ahead for Islamic finance worldwide.
The industry grew at double-digit annual rates for much of the past decade, faster than conventional finance. Economic booms in its core markets, the Muslim-majority nations of the Gulf and southeast Asia, fueled the gains.
The International Bank of Azerbaijan -- a major state-owned bank holding at least 40 percent of all bank assets in the country -- has become the first among European banks to introduce the Islamic card on September 25.
IBA Islamic Banking Department head Behnam Gurbanzade said that the Qibla card, which complies with the rules of Islamic banking, will be released into circulation in the near future. The cost of the card is 40 manats.
Islamic Corporation for Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is developing its operations in Azerbaijan.
At the IV Baku International Banking Conference Hisham Nazih Al-Nasser, ICD director for assets management and advisory work, has claimed that currently the ICD was working on a project of first Islamic insurance company Kaufad in Azerbaijan.
In a report issued today 29 September 2011, Standard & Poor's affirmed for the 10th consecutive year its 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term credit ratings of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with a Stable Outlook.
Standard & Poor's stated that the IDB's ratings are underpinned by strong shareholders' support, very high level of capital and liquidity and a good asset portfolio with preferred-creditor treatment and historically very low losses.